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Community Engagement

West Los Angeles UMC is active within and beyond the Church campus serving alongside its neighbors to uplift the community with love, compassion, justice, and service.

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Neighborhood Engagement & Welcome (N.E.W.)

West Los Angeles UMC is located in the vibrant Sawtelle Japantown neighborhood. This ministry team focuses on building relationships with Sawtelle neighbors, welcoming new visitors to the church, creating innovative engagement opportunities that connect the church and community, and advocating for the Sawtelle Japantown area.

Rose Honda, photo from Rafu Shimpo

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580 Café/Wesley Foundation Serving UCLA – Campus Ministry

West Los Angeles UMC enjoys a longstanding relationship with the UMC campus ministry serving UCLA. Its director and students often lead worship and share their gifts with the Church community. United Women in Faith and Social Justice & Missions ministries help stock the 580 Café food pantry, with congregation members supporting programs and preparing occasional student lunch meals of spam musubi and more!.

As a beloved community that is immigrant and LGBTQIA+ affirming, the 580 Café is dedicated to building justice through dialogue, creative expression, belief and activism, offering both in-person and online spaces by and for students to engage in healing justice and collective care. The 580 Café is recognized as a UCLA Basic Needs provider and its Food Pantry and no-cost healthy lunches help address the needs of food and housing insecure students with loving nourishment of body and soul.
 

Click here for a link to the 580 Café’s video greeting to West LA UMC. Thank you WLAUMC!
 

580 Café/Wesley Foundation serving UCLA
580 Hilgard Ave  L.A. CA 90024

Call or Text: 310-909-4471
Visit our website:

FaceBook: 580 Cafe; Wesley Foundation Serving UCLA 

Instagram @580Cafe

Sawtelle Japantown Association

The Sawtelle Japantown Association (SJA) is a community organization focused on the
preservation and growth of Sawtelle Japantown, which has included West Los Angeles UMC and
its congregation members since the church’s founding in 1930. Once a red-lined neighborhood
of Japanese immigrants and others at the margins, Sawtelle Japantown is now a vibrant
residential area and foodie destination. West Los Angeles UMC participates with the SJA in
historical presentations, celebratory commemorations, and fun community gatherings, such as
the neighborhood Children’s Day Celebration in May. For more information, including Sawtelle
history, visit
Sawtelle Japantown Association.

Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN)

West Los Angeles UMC is part of the global Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN) and affirms
the RMN Foundational Statement: “We celebrate God’s gift of diversity and value the wholeness
made possible in community equally shared and shepherded by all. We welcome and affirm
people of every gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation, who are also of
every age, race, ethnicity, physical and mental ability, level of education, and family structure,
and of every economic, immigration, marital, and social status, and so much more. We
acknowledge that we live in a world of profound social, economic, and political inequities. As
followers of Jesus, we commit ourselves to the pursuit of justice and pledge to stand in solidarity
with all who are marginalized and oppressed.”


RMN is “committed to intersectional justice across and beyond the United Methodist
connection, working for the full participation of all LGBTQ+ people throughout the life and
leadership of the Church.” The RMN movement “spans four continents, 1,000+ churches, and
40,000+ individuals” and continues to grow. For more information and resources, visit
Reconciling Ministries (rmnetwork.org)
.

Okaeri: A Nikkei LGBTQ+ Community

West Los Angeles UMC celebrates its longstanding connection with Okaeri and collaborates
with programs, conferences, and outreach. The mission of Okaeri is to “create visibility,
compassionate spaces, and transformation for LGBTQ+ Nikkei and their families by sharing
our stories and providing culturally-rooted support, education, community-building, and
advocacy.” Okaeri, which means “welcome home” in Japanese, envisions a “safe, loving, and
accepting world for LGBTQ+ Nikkei and their families where all identities are celebrated,
respected, and embraced.” For more information and Nikkei LGBTQ+ resources, visit Okaeri
at: A Nikkei LGBTQ+ Community (okaeri-losangeles.org)

National Japanese American United Methodist Caucus and Los Angeles Area Historic
Japanese American UMC Collaboration

West Los Angeles UMC enjoys collaborating with and supporting its siblings in ministry and
service through the NJAUMC, a network of historic Japanese American churches, which also
coordinates the Asian American Youth Camp programs.
NJAUMC Camps | Asian Camp | Junior
High Camp
. In the Greater Los Angeles area, West Los Angeles UMC, Centenary UMC (Little
Tokyo), and Faith Torrance UMC often team up for joint programs. Youth from the three
churches gather for the LINX program and the churches recently co-sponsored “Faith, Courage
& Hope,” a forum uplifting Nikkei LGBTQ+ faith stories. We look forward to continuing our work
together.

The United Methodist Church Connection

West Los Angeles UMC is part of The United Methodist denominational, regional, and local connection. Here are some links to the abundant resources available through this connection:

The United Methodist Church: The United Methodist Church (umc.org)

 

UMC Western Jurisdiction: Western Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church | Where Love Lives (westernjurisdictionumc.org)

 

UMC California-Pacific Annual Conference: 2023.AC - The California-Pacific Conference of The United Methodist Church (calpacumc.org)

 

UMC West District (of the Cal-Pac Annual Conference): West District - The California-Pacific Conference of The United Methodist Church (calpacumc.org)

 

United Women in Faith (UWF): United Women in Faith | Love in Action (uwfaith.org)

 

United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR): UMCOR - Global Ministries (umcmission.org)

 

UMC General Commission on Religion & Race: GCORR

 

UMC General Commission on the Role and Status of Women: GCSRW (resourceumc.org)

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